tv Lectures in History CSPAN May 21, 2016 8:00pm-9:11pm EDT
programming on american history. follow us on twitter at c-span history. for information on the schedule and to keep up with the latest history news. >> on lectures in history, marshall university professor at williams teaches a class about will -- women and life on the home front. she describes the role of women in aiding the war effort in factories and military auxiliary units. she also talks about the rise of women's baseball leagues during the time including the all-american girls professional baseball league, which operated from 1943 to 1954. her class is about one hour and 10 minutes. williams: are you ready to talk about world war ii on the home front? a part ofyou guys saw the documentary called total war.
i know that some of those images were probably pretty gruesome. one of the reasons i show that to you is to give you a sense of what that concept, total war means. don't care what war we are talking about, it is never a simply -- simply about two armies fighting one another on a battlefield. it is all encompassing. i think the video probably helped to show that. it gives you an opportunity to see, and i think the newsreels and things, images on there, give you an opportunity to see what that was like. what the beginning of world war ii was like in europe, specifically, and of course in japan as well. remember, the beginning of the semester, i told you guys my mantra. i don't know if you remember. it is all about perspective. that is how i teach. that is how i teach history.
that is my mantra when it comes to my own research and scholarships. it is all about perspectives. when i talk to you about that at the beginning of the semester, i used world war ii as an example to illustrate that. we will come back to that. saw from theu battlefield and from the bombings in europe, that is one perspective. video,you do is see the if all you do is hear the stories of the infantryman who were on the beaches in normandy. thell you do is talk about , yout of war on sailors are only getting one perspective. you really don't understand world war ii. you might understand one piece of that military history, but
you don't really understand world war ii. as i said to you before, in order to really understand world war ii you have to look at world war ii from all different perspectives. in order to understand it, yes, it is important to look at it through the eyes of that 20-year-old marine on normandy. it is also important to look at it through the eyes of japanese-americans. through the eyes of women. through the eyes of african-americans. you said we cannot understand the full impact, the total war impact unless you do that. what we are going to do today is sort of flesh that out. greatest effect that war has on the people involved is change. in wartime change occurs.
that seems like a simple statement. it is not just occur on a global scale or a national scale, it changes us individually. it changes the way that we see the world. it changes the way that we are in the world. whether we are talking about world war ii, or we are talking about vietnam, or we are talking about the war with iraq. people change as a result of war. it is not just the people pointing guns at one another. people change as a result of war. one of the most incredible changes, and one that i guarantee you, if you spend any time talking about or studying world war ii, i suspect this is not a change or not a piece of it that you have talked about. one of the most incredible changes is in identity. individual identity.
the changes that happen to us as individuals. specifically, as i believe you can make this argument for anywhere, but we happen to be talking about world war ii -- world war ii specifically enable people to learn about each other. about other cultures. , ethnicities,s cultures. are doingudden we similar things out in the world. we're working in similar jobs. we have a common enemy. that change was huge. it was felt long after world war ii. war in general, specifically world war ii for many women and african-americans, particularly was about gaining strength and mobility.
from the beginning of this country's history women and africans, and then an african americans -- african-americans have always been limited in their mobility. war helped to change that. doorwayvery much a through which women ventured out of the home. where they had been. for african, it was a way to overcome the racism, at least temporarily. that,ot trying to suggest thank god there was a war because now african-americans and women have an opportunity to bust out and gain some equality. it was just the effects of war. it was a byproduct of war. mind, this idea of it is all about perfect.
this idea that in order for us to truly understand world war ii, to truly understand the impact, the total war impact of the war, we have to look at individuals. we could spend the entire semester doing this. we could spend weeks and weeks talking about the impact of world war ii on japanese-americans. we could spend an entire semester talking about the impact of world war ii on african-americans, and certainly another semester talking about women. class oring to in a two, we will address the civil rights movement. the modern civil rights movement. we will talk more specifically about the connections between world war ii and the civil -- modern civil rights movement. a little time talking about the impact of the war on african-americans. there will be more of it when we get to the civil rights movement. african-americans, and i said
this when we were talking about world war i, african-americans have served valiantly in every single war or conflict the country has ever been part of. certainly world war ii was no different. the figures for the numbers of african americans who served in world war ii are these. 1941,of all, prior to there were fewer than 4000 african-americans serving in the military. african-americans could become officers. than 1.2 million african-americans were serving in the u.s. military. in the pacific, europe, and homefront. yes?e all know --
1945. by 1940. -- by 1945. we all have seen those images of what happened at recruiting stations after pearl harbor on the heavenly? -- haven't we? after the u.s. was attacked by japan at pearl harbor, every middle-agedld man, man, just about every man that could possibly do so went to a recruiting office and signed up. you don't get to attack -- young men lied about their ages and got in. old men lied about their ages and got in. men who were probably physically not capable lied and got in. the same was true of african-american men. this was just not wightman, it was everyone. -- white men, it was everyone come including asian american
men who are not take into kindly. -- taken to kindly. men joined inan huge numbers. unfortunately however the segregation that was present in the unit states at the time -- united states at the time spilled over into military life. african-american soldiers were given in many cases supplies that were maybe not it to snuff. -- notre given food always, obviously i'm being very general to make the point, sometimes the uniform did not fit. . we did not want them in in combat -- in combat. they were often expected to do things like service duty, kitchen work, supply, maintenance, transportation. this was in the beginning of the war.
drove supplies during the day -- d day. how many of you have seen the movie "saving private ryan? " i mentioned this before, but it is the perfect image. the first 30 minutes of "saving bloody,ryan," horribly and as i understand, fairly accurate the trail -- the trail -- portrayal. there is a shot that is down the beach, there is no one talking. there are bodies littered everywhere. the water is read from blood. --red from blood. in the distance for a few seconds you could see hot air balloons. african-american men highlighted hot-air balloons -- piloted
hot-air balloons over those beaches on d day. i am not sure what end of the gun to hold, but i could shoot that down. as are incredibly dangerous jobs. not really a movie critic here, but i will say, that appears to be the only non-towards african-americans in his movie. african-americans were second to none. the bravery, second to none. those were the kinds of jobs they were getting. it was invaluable. the information they were able to radio back from being at that vantage point. very valuable. very dangerous. unloaded loaded and live ammunition.
still we did not want them" combat." that started to change as you can imagine as the war continued. we needed more and more men in battle. we started to include african-americans in some of those battalions. that the armyngs air force did was recognize that we needed more pilots. to protecteople fighters. pilots whoyelets -- would fly supply missions. a group of african-american pilots that became known as the --ke airmen -- teske airmen
tuskeegee airmen. really couple of good movies --.t them area flewuskegee airmen thousands of missions between may 1943 and 1945. 66 tuskegee airmen died in combat. certainly the tuskegee airmen were not the only african-american men to serve valiantly during the war. it is the one that most of us have heard of.
african-american men continue to serve in every branch of the military. by the way, every branch of the military was segregated until 1948, when harry truman decided that was not appropriate. segregated in military units. war,went off to were -- they fought and died for democracy. yes? 1948. war and they to fought and died for democracy. they fought and died for the united states. yet, they lived in a segregated world. remember our conversations about jim crow from the cradle to the grave? they lived in that segregated world.
a leader, one of the leaders of the black community, a man named a philip randolph, the initial a philip randolph, a philip randolph was extremely important in the black unity. -- community. ,e said to african-american men fight for freedom. if you go off and fight for freedom for this country, they simply cannot take away your freedom when you get home. he helped to institute something called the double v campaign. v as in victory. it basically said victory overseas and equality at home. you cannot expect the united states of america to give you your freedom, your quality, earn it.
the message was, victory overseas and equality at home. the doublev campaign was put into place to help encourage african-american men and women to do their part to during the war. -- their part during the war. it was randolph who convinced fdr he needed to stop racial programsation in job -- in new deal job programs. he also went to fdr and he said, this double v campaign, understand we are willing to fight for our country, but we expect you to fight for us when we get back. african-american men served tirelessly in the united states military. african-american women did their
part as well, believe me. we are going to talk in a minute about the impact of world war ii on women in this country. we're going to talk very specifically about them -- some images you have seen, rosie the riveter for example. don't let these images fool you. most of these images are of white women because those are the women that the propagandist wanted us to see. black women were very much a part of the war effort. we will talk about that in a little bit. women life changed during world war ii. like no other point in american history. ii, if womend war work outside of the home, many did, it was a misconception to
think there was this perfect family of 2.5 children and mother and father and it was an image. women often worked outside of the home. when they did they work in something called pink collar jobs. what is a pink collar job? what does that mean? any ideas? yes? >> something for a woman -- suitable for a woman. prof williams: suitable women's work. if you had to define that, what would that be? what is an example? i'm sorry. cleaning. what else? . seamstress. exactly. childcare. anything else? nurses. i'm sorry, go ahead. waiting tables. service industry. acceptable women's work. what do you think is something
that all of those jobs have in common, aside from the fact they are service jobs? any ideas? .ope --low pay it was perfectly legal to pay women less money. it might not be the time for me to have a conversation about pay equity. today. but it was certainly -- nowhere neil -- nowhere near equal in the 1940's. -- it is not career. it is not a career, it is a job. it is one of those things that women dead before they got married. after they got married, chances are they will not work outside of the home. at least that was the popular image. if womenworld war ii, are working outside of the home, many were, they were working in these can color jobs -- pink collar jobs.
there were exceptions, but not as many. know the war began, as you many, many women go to work in factories. because so many men have gone off to war. talked last week about the fact that it was fdr's move into world -- war production that ultimately got us, helped to get us out of the depression. that war production had to continue, especially after the united states had entered the war. who is going to do that job? some people suggested to the war department, what if we let women into the factories? what if we allow women to do those jobs? initial response was, oh no. no, no, no.
women are not going to get out of bed in the morning and go do these awful, dirty jobs. know, that was not the case. women answered the call, just like men. there are a lot of different ways that women participate in the united states effort in world war ii. one of them, factory workers. we will talk about that first. another is the fact that they were used -- tons of women were used as propaganda. we will talk about that as well. i have some images to show you. women joined the army. women's army corps. the women's army air corps. there were a lot of ways that women participated in the war effort. the first one, as i said, is the one that most of us are familiar with, that is they went to work. they went to work in factories. you have all seen as image, having you -- haven't you?
rosie the riveter. this was a propaganda poster, we can do it. propaganda was important in getting women to quote do their part. many of you may even have grandparents, or great-grandparents who worked in the factories. anyone have a family member who worked in the local factories? there were a number of these rosie's in this area. most of these women who went off to work in the war industry, at the beginning anyway, for single women -- were single women. often boyfriends or brothers or fathers or other family members had gone off to war. industry, war industry, the shipping industry, all kinds of war industry reached out and
recruited women from everyere. they sent out -- you know the uncle sam posters. they did those kinds of posters directed at women. we need you to work. go ahead, go to the next. call and huge the numbers -- in huge numbers. think about this -- these women, this is a really wonderful photograph of these women leaving -- i don't know the factory. as you can tell, they are dressed like workers. opportunityhad an for the first time in their lives, they left home. homeis time women stayed with their parents until they got married. and then they would move in with her husband. -- their husbands. there were few opportunities for women to live on their own.
all of a sudden these women are coming from small towns all over the united states into industrial cities, centers around the country. they can go to work dressed like that. there is an incredible sense of independence that these women have. they live in an apartment with say to or three or four other women -- two or three or four other women. they go to work in hard hats and bring lunch pails. on their break they have a cigarette and lunch. afterwards they stop at the bar and have a clear -- beer. this sounds like no big deal to us, right? it was a huge deal. it was a sense of independence. it was also a sense of i am doing my part. -- hadave number to the an opportunity with this to make your own money.
to dissipate in the war effort. -- to participate in the war effort. of course not, in fact, i am glad you brought that up. the kinds of jobs that women did in the factories married. -- varied. they became welders, electricians, all kinds of things. jobs that they -- believe me were not think collar -- pink collar, and jobs they never would've had access to before, but all was not equal. they worked in very unhealthy conditions. they worked long hours. pay was nowhere near what it was for a man. here's an example -- if a woman had training and one year experience as a welder, she could make $31 -- $31.21 a week.
trained as a welder and had one year experience he made $54 62 five cents a week. $54.65 a week. i am not suggesting women complained, that was just what happened. i said, worked in all kinds of industry. go ahead and go to the next. this is another example of one of those war propaganda posters. victory weights on your finger -- waits on your finger. --en were expected due to inspected to do some jobs as long as it was in the war industry. these kinds of posters put the pressure on women to do their part.
do the next. do the job he left behind. again, there was all kinds of recruitment. these posters were everywhere. they were in women's magazines. they were on posters, in local small towns. go ahead. and then, there is this. propaganda against japanese-americans. this one is frightening. there is one coming up that is more frightening. one of the things that we needed , and was to convince women men for that matter, but specifically women, we needed to convince them that there is a big, bad enemy. if you take a day off, that was their biggest fear -- women were just not going to take it seriously. they were going to take too many days off. they would sleep in.
they would not be able to handle the rigors of a full-time job. the images of japanese-americans are very animalistic. it is very clear here what will happen if you do not do your job. go ahead. again, beautiful women, very feminine, you have to do your job. we understand that you are longing for your love, in addition to working, make sure you are buying war bonds. there are also posters that are directed at women that encourage women to do things like grow victory gardens. not all of them were about working in factories. . go ahead. this one is the one i was talking about.
ms. williams: and this one was the most disturbing of all. i told you that women were used in wartime as propaganda and this is an example of that. as you can see, this japanese soldier -- and again, he doesn't --k human, he is a monster and he is after these poor, defenseless women. there are several of these. one has this same sort of japanese soldier and he has this woman thrown over his shoulder as he goes hulking off with her and the bottom says, "this is , to we are fighting for protect their virtue -- protect women."ue of our this one is actually from britain and one of the earlier
images. now women were strong workers in the war industry. their images were used as propaganda. also very willing to step up and do their part in the military as well. thewomen's army corps, or w-a-c, was established in the 1940's. again, much like the tuskegee airmen, the thought was, "we need more men going off to somee, so we need to have of these jobs that are taken , malef by military
military personnel, we need some of those to be done why women, so let's create the women's army auxiliary corps." this was huge for women. was was the norm us -- enormous. the united states military, you had a uniform, you had a job, you had purpose. took over jobs like file clerks, operators, cooks. that allowed the men who were in the military to then be trained for combat. just the wac, it wasn't just the women's army wap, the was also the
women's army pilots. like the tuskegee airmen, they had to make a claim that they would be useful. a woman named jackie cochran, and a floridat native, along with a test pilot harkness-love approached fdr at the beginning of the war and said, "you know, there are a lot of women who could fly some spy planes, there are a lot of women who could pull targets, who could transport planes from one factory to a base." as the same response when the effort was first made to get women into the war can'try, "no, no, no, we do that, we don't want women in those roles."
long beforen't take it was clear that we needed someone to take over those roles. we needed someone to fly the planes from the factories to the bases. 1942, the wapr of serviceomen's army pilots -- wasp, the women's army pilots, headed to training, some of it in texas, some of it in florida. 'sese women had a pilot license, a commercial pilot's license, and they learned to fly, "the army way." they would not fly in combat maneuvers because they were not allowed to in any way participate in combat. more than 25,000 women applied
to be a wasp. fewer than 1900 were accepted. sps weree training, wa stationed in over 120 airbases across the u.s. they flew 60 million operational flights from aircraft factories to bases. they also towed targets for target practice. now is that a job you want? they towed targets for the guys to use their surface-to-air missiles for target practice. they flew supply missions.
1944, they had delivered over 12,000 aircraft of 78 different types. yes. over44, they had delivered 12,000 aircraft, 78 different types. areahey were in every where the united states was located during the war. lost their lives. and listen to this. 38 lost their lives. and they were all over the world. but when their bodies were sent back home, they were not allowed to be sent home in a flag-draped coffin. if youw as well as i do
had never been part of a military family, and i have not been, really, but if you have ever been part of a military family and all you have done is watch the news, you know the significance of a fallen soldier being brought home in a casket covered by the united states flag. they were not allowed to have a u.s. flag. as 1943, efforts were made in congress to get them recognized. yep? >> what year? ms. williams: as early as 1943, people tried to get them the recognition that they deserved. andonce the war was over, again, they were all over the world, once the war was over, their superiors went to them, they took their wings, they took their uniforms, and they were
home.o find their own way eventually, people continued to try and get the recognition -- them recogition. does anyone know when the wasps were finally given the recognition that they were due? does anyone know when that might have happened? take a guess. no? >> has it happened? ms. williams: it has happened. president barack obama in 2009 was the first president. the remaining, the remaining members of the lost, there were only a handful, or brought on may 10, 2010 -- were brought on 2010, were brought to
the capital and jointly given the congressional gold medal. yep. stilleard recently they don't have the ability to be buried in ou arlington national cemetery? ms. williams: that is correct, they cannot be buried in arlington national cemetery. compare, dangerous to well, you know, well, more men died and men had a harbor time -- had a harder time, i am not comparing and we shouldn't compare, but what we should do is respect what they were able to do as pilots. at women asked propaganda. the ways in at which women participated in the war effort has factory workers
-- effort as factory workers. ahead and flip through, there are another couple of images on a got ahead of myself -- images and i got ahead of myself, these are women --ining is that they played these are women training and they also play baseball. i guarantee you if you have ever taken a class that has talked about the history of world war ii and the importance of individuals or groups, rarely if ever have you ever had a conversation about baseball. how many of you have seen the movie, "a league of their own?" and if you haven't, please don't tell me. in 1943, as i said to you before, men of all ages, of all shapes and sizes, headed to war.
and that included professional baseball players. we all know, don't we, that baseball is america's pastime? chevrolet, apple pie, mom, baseball, that was the image of baseball in the 1940's and it kind of still is. but as more and more ballplayers , both major-league ballplayers and minor league ballplayers were leaving to go to war, a lot of the owners were concerned. comingr, we were just out of a depression and were still in an economic depression. some of the best ballplayers had gone off to war. some of the owners, including a man named philip wrigley, you may have heard of philip wrigley, chewing gum, wrigley chewing gum, and of course, if you are a baseball fan, wrigley field. concernedgley was
that baseball is going under. there was even a discussion about whether they should play baseball during the war. fdr totter written by e commissioner of baseball that would become known as "the said,light letter," fdr "no, it's important that we play, it's crucial that we play baseball. that's what these guys are fighting for, they are fighting for the memory of that and what that means for their country." together wrigley went with some other owners and came up with the idea, "what if we start a women's baseball league?" now, you have to have a little context here. you have to understand that women partial softball in the midwest was extremely popular -- women's softball in the midwest was extreme and popular, extremely popular.
in 1939, women's softball brought in more fans than baseball in the midwest. that's softball. wrigley said, "what if we take some of these ballparks that are, you know, minor-league ballparks, let's create a professional softball league?" a women's softball league. towill get some attendance some of these fields, they will make a little money, and it will also provide entertainment to citizens during the war. now there are couple of problems with this. softballall, female players had a kind of a bad image. a former softball player, i can tell you some of it was probably deserved.
but they were too masculine. not feminine enough. go outley said, "let's and recruit some of these softball players, but we have to be careful about who we recruit, we need certain kinds of people." those of you who have seen the movie, "a league of their own," you know that there are some scenes where the scouts go off into the farms and stuff and, you know, they are recruiting people and that is kind of the way it was. they recruited a bunch of softball players and they brought them to wrigley field. spring training, the first spring training, may 17, 1943. brought of women were
to wrigley field for tryouts. ultimately, teams were chosen, many of the women, of course, didn't make the cut. initially, there were four teams. and kenosha in wisconsin, rockford, illinois, and south bend, indiana. on may 30, 9043 -- 30, 1943, the first games took place. wrigley had no clue what to expect. "do i sell this as a novelty? novelty?"
image.d and change the this is a group photograph. i believe this is the rockford team. "do iigley had to decide, sell this as a novelty? women in dresses playing ball?" well, it didn't take long for him to realize, these are ballplayers, these are good ballplayers. you can see, this is a very popular photograph. these women played ball in dresses. but that didn't stop them. former alle of the players who is 89 years old and she still, she talks about, " yeah, i am still digging gravel out of my hip because of all of that sliding in those dresses."
that is what it is like to play baseball in address. -- in a dress. me telling you women didn't have a lot of opportunities to work outside the home and certainly not a lot of opportunities to challenge societal norms? these women were given an opportunity to play professional baseball. now the first season, it was all-american girls softball team, and then wrigley realized, these are good ballplayers, and people came and watched them play ball, and then ultimately it became the all-american girls professional baseball league. paid $45 $85 ae $85 a week and that was in the norma's amount amount ofenormous
money. it was impossible to dream. -- go ahead,e and caitlin. this is also one of my favorite photographs. these women were very serious ballplayers. i spent a lot of time with these women, the ones who are still with us. the singleell you most important thing in their lives was that they had an opportunity to participate in the war effort by saving baseball. ballplayers,f the "beans," they all have nicknames and it is impossible to keep up with them,
at ai first met "beans" conference for ballplayers. she was a very tall, lanky a conference in oklahoma. someone said i was looking for her and she came up to me and she said, "kit kat," and so i became kit kat. i asked her before she died, "what does it mean to you for you to have been able to play baseball?" she shook her head and she said, "it meant everything, it was my life, and it was the best thing we majord because that baseball stayed alive for those men who came back from war, that we also did something else. we created a foundation on which the young women of today could stand. theelped to bridge from
1940's of women playing professional baseball to title ix." they understand their significance in the bigger picture of women's athletics. the league last 11 years. woment 11 years, over 600 were given an opportunity to play baseball. they traveled around the country. they played baseball in yankee stadium. in 1947 spring training in have anna, cuba -- in havana, cuba. over 30 canadians played in the 11 years of the league. they had spring training in mississippi and florida.
some of an opportunity, those girls, to play around the country, in places they had never seen before and would never have an opportunity to travel. themthat opportunity gave was an opportunity to go to college. they saved some of that money. college, themselves to they sent some of their siblings to college, they became doctors and lawyers. one became the first female ofager of any department -- a department of northrup camenes, they generals, politicians, surgeons, and they were able to do that because they had access to professional baseball. , "what didsked them
it mean to you to play in the league?" and they say, "everything," that's exactly right. what did it mean for this country and these efforts of these women to help during wartime? it meant everything. i have asked a number of these "so, what was it like to have to play baseball in a dress?" and of course, their answers very, some of them i can repeat and some of them i can't -- their answer vary, some of them them iepeat and some of can't. responses, they would have played naked. they believed they would have helped to keep baseball alive during the war. as i said, the league ended in
1954. it lasted 11 years. the league expanded over that 11 4 teams to 12 teams. it is possible that this expanded to quickly but i think the fact that there was expansion in the league, the fact that the war was over, women were being told to go back to some of those more traditional roles, including the brought anelevision, end to the all-american professional women's baseball league. impact of at the ,frican-americans, women
japanese-americans, any other group you could possibly think start to pick that apart, if we start to look at their actual role in winning the war, in surviving the war in some cases, we start to see a more full picture of what life was like for people involved in the war and for those who were involved even on the periphery. when we started this conversation today, this discussion today, we talked about the discussion of total war, that war was this completely, all-consuming thing, that it was not just about two armies shooting one another. thatarted to think about
and what that meant and how we can further understand world war ii if we bring all of these pieces and parts together. well, we can try. and that's what i am trying to do here is to get us to understand, again, my mantra is all about perspective. not one ofre is those pieces that is less important or more important. we have to understand them all to have a full view of world war ii. for me, because, of course, i am a women's sports historian, for in the role of women professional baseball during is an extremely important piece of this story in
part because it is not one that most of us know about. also because those women, those 600 women, they believe they made a difference in the war effort. and they did. the number of women that i to that worked in factories, those rosies, they believe they made a different in the war effort, and they did. every single person who went to work in a factory, every single person who grew up victory whoen, every single person , gascipated in blackouts rationing, food rationing, every single one of those people participated in and helped to win world war ii.
go ahead, caitlin. this is another picture, though, that i wanted you to see, standing in the lawn outside of the baseball hall of fame in cooperstown, new york is a statue. and it is a statue patterned after this woman. way, that just happened in 2006. this is an example of what happened before every single baseball game. women lined up in a v for victory. finally, "a league of their own," 1992, the movie that
finally brought these womens' stories to the forefront. for every single one of these individuals, for every single one of these groups that we talked about, they play a role in world war ii, they played a role in surviving world war ii, and for us to fully understand it, we have to understand all of those perspectives. questions, comments? yep? >> [indiscernible] african-americans, too, right? ms. williams: know there were not -- no there were not. there were no african-american women in the league, it is a it
of a contentious subject. there is probably one of the best themes in the movie, "a league of their own," is genna davis there in the catchers gear and she was try to catch the ball and the ball with pastor and two or three african-american women were standing off to the side and she she tolde woman and her to throw it to her and instead she threw a pastor and she realized what an incredible arm that woman had -- through it passed her and she realized what an incredible arm that woman had. if you spoke to any of those players, they would tell you that there were no rules about segregation. black women just didn't try out. segregation from the cradle to the grave. so, no, there were no black
women who played in the league, however, there were a number of black women who did play very successfully in the negro leagues, they played with the men. connie stone was one, but the were not, did not have any african-american players. yes? with the wasps and all of that, did other countries , like france or britain, how do they treat their women? ms. williams: yes, in fact, great britain did have, and i don't remember the name of their pilot corps, but they did have one and they had one before the u.s. did, but as far as how they treated them after the war was over, i don't have that information, but they did make use of them and in fact, jackie cochran spent time there flying
with those women and it was, as a result of her time there, and that experience, that she was able to come back here and strongly the united cease to do the same thing. related -- theat united states to do the same thing. it was not combat related. other questions, comments? yes? >> can you explain what a victory garden was? ms. williams: yes, can anyone tell me what a victory guard was? where youomething were doing your part by providing your own food. they started in britain. ms. williams: yeah, victory gardens were, exactly, i'm sorry? >> rationing. ms. williams: yes, it was a time where you could only by certain foods and we were rationing
things that we wanted a lot of the stuff to go to the war effort, gas was included in the rations, and victory gardens were exactly that. gardens,e told to grow go out your backyard and grow a garden and help to feed not only your family but maybe even another family. ways that lots of women participated in the war effort and certainly that was one. hand if you were at home and let's say your husband had gone homeo war and you were at and you had kids, then you didn't have an opportunity to go off to work in a factory or play professional baseball there were a lot of other opportunities to do that and that was one. >> were children also sent to the factories to work? ms. williams: no, what the time we get to world war ii, we have child labor laws in place, and that was as a result of those efforts of the progressives that
we talked about, so no, children were not -- it didn't mean to they didn't help in other ways, because of course, they did, that no, they were not expected to work in factories, in fact, that would have been illegal then. nurses in the army and stuff, they weren't in common zones? ms. williams: well, yes, but in theory, they were not in combat, right? we had nurses who were killed. during the war, we had nurses ,ho were taken prisoner of war so, yes, that happened everywhere, what they were not officially in combat. we are still making -- we still have that argument, right? honestly, it changes a lot because women can in theory do any of the jobs in the military that men can do, at least i believe that is the case now. >> [indiscernible]
ms. williams: no. other questions, comments? no? yes. you were talking about the anti-japanese and the most highly decorated combat veteran we had served in italy, one of the hardest places to fight and he was a japanese-american. ms. williams: yes, there were any number of stories like that. mean, a number of the male japanese-americans who were rounded up and sent to camps in places like montana and wyoming had served in the united states military during world war i. these were american citizens. in many cases.
was a very dark, i think , and difficult time in our history. we understand if you think back that certainly we can bring this to the present and thick about what we felt like after 9/11. -- we wereled full fearful when we were certainly attacked and being threatened by a group of people. we get scared. and so what we did in world war ii was roundup japanese-americans and put them -- round up japanese-americans of put them in concentration camps around the country. sadly, there are folks who want to do similar things today. other questions, comments? midterm that is
tuesday -- yes -- you can write me a nice essay about total war or you talk about the importance of perspective and understanding all of those important pieces. yes? ok. i'll be counting on that. yes? >> so would you agree that total more was more fight, it means, like, everybody, everybody was affected by the war effort and everybody did their part to help in their own way? youwilliams: yes, i think hit the nail right on the head and you said it much more singly than i did. -- much more's the singly than i clearlymuch more
did.i it is not just about your location but it is also about the individual and if we expand our view beyond that piece of it, then i think we can really get a sense of that. were pretty young, but in the same way that, again, i keep using 9/11 because it is the most current and similar experience. those of us who were a little yeah, ir on 9/11, didn't go to war. i didn't go to battle. but here is what happened to me.
i walked into my classroom on a classroom much like this one, and we were all devastated and we talked about that. we talked about what that meant. on,then as the weeks went there were fewer and fewer young men in my classroom. , oh, in after about don't know, about a month? six weeks? i look out into my classroom and i have two or three young men and that is it. so i go back to my office on that day and i have an e-mail from someone here at the way,rsity saying, "by the a lot of reservists have been called up." so i stood in my classroom and i watched, i watched these young men leave my classroom. and they went to war. they literally went to war.
and i -- i -- i don't know what happened to them. i have no idea. did i fight the war? no. will that memory live with me the rest of my life? yes. other questions, comments? ok. all right. then i will see you on thursday. join us every saturday evening at 8:00 p.m. and midnight eastern as we join students in college classrooms to hear lectures on topics ranging from the american resolution -- american revolution to 9/11. these are also available as podcasts. or downloadbsite them from itunes. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
next on american history tv, filmmakers ken burns and mark updegrove --and lynn discuss "the vietnam war" to be released in 2017. they discussed this with mark updegrove. watched clipsrs of the documentary. we were unable to show them due to licensing restrictions. this is about 40 minutes. mark: please welcome -- >> please welcome to the stage mr. mark updegrove, documentary filmmakers and producers of "the mr. ken burns and miss lynn novick. [applause] mark: